Reading an article in the Guardian today about poverty depicted in art it got me thinking about the function of art. Jonathan Jones in his article says “..artists, whose main work was religious art, were drawing attention to the paradoxes of the Christian message. Churches were full of fine art, yet Christianity praises poverty.”
But there is some confusion over religious art as an object and religious art as a symbol. It is too simplistic to denounce the riches of the historical church and claim that if it indeed “praises poverty” then it should also be poor.
What does religion symbolise for people? Hope? A chance to elevate oneself to heaven?
Historically religion was a much larger part of people’s lives and people lived by the examples of prophets and religious teachers. What the church is, is an icon of hope, peace and heaven. The way churches, mosques, temples function…
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